Dalvin Cook's playing status is in doubt after ESPN's Adam Schefter said Monday that he'd be surprised if Cook plays in Weeks 16 or 17.
Schefter hasn't tweeted or posted to social media about Cook, but SKOR North's Judd Zulgad was watching when Schefter said it, and Zulgad says it came off more as opinion than matter of fact, so at this point there's no definitive decision about Cook's status for the next two weeks.
"Yeah, feels good today," said head coach Mike Zimmer when asked Monday if Cook would be able to play through the the pain the shoulder injury has caused.
Cook, who will be among Vikings running backs delivering warm meals and winter hats to residents at Mary's Place in Minneapolis on Tuesday, has exited the past two games early because of the shoulder issue. Both games were easy wins for the Vikings, so it's unclear if he would've stayed in either game and gutted out the pain had the scores been closer.
If Cook is out, the attention turns to backup running backs Alexander Mattison, Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah. Mattison (ankle) was inactive against the Chargers so Boone handled the bulk of the work once Cook exited.
Booned scored two touchdowns and finished with 56 yards on 13 carries.
"I thought (Mike) Boone really did a nice job. He ran hard," Zimmer said. "When Dalvin (Cook) was in there, it was a little tougher sledding just because some guys out-ran some of our guys to get to some of the plays, but overall, I thought it was good. To get some carries out of Ameer (Abdullah) and then out of Boone were good."
Minnesota (10-4) has a huge week upcoming as they host the Packers (11-3) on Monday Night Football. A win coupled with a Rams loss would clinch a playoff berth for the Vikings, while a victory alone will set the stage for a dramatic Week 17 as a Vikings win over the Bears plus a Packers loss at Detroit would give the Vikings the NFC North championship.
You can read more on how the Vikings can clinch a top-three seed in the NFC right here.